Friday, March 31, 2006

How could you let this happen?

Smallville returned from winter reruns last night. From the episode description—Lex searches for Milton Fine; Clark is hypnotized and reveals his powers to a seductress—I knew only the last fifteen minutes would be necessary.

Chloe: It will crush her, Clark. You'd better be absolutely sure you want to do this.

Clark to Mom: I didn't see any other way to do it. It was either make a clean break or tell her my secret.

Mom: I know you haven't told Lana because you want to protect her, but you've done more than break her heart. You've given her reason to hate you. I just hope she doesn't do something we'll all regret.

And of course, she does, gravitating toward Lex. From the beginning, the awkward distance between Lana and Clark has been the trademark twist in Smallville's telling of the Superman legend. This was the writers' way of establishing that anything could happen. If Lana is to become the trusted friend we know from other versions, they've got a long way to go. On the other hand, Smallville's Clark is perhaps the most passive, indecisive lead character I've ever seen. Who'd want to befriend him? I can hardly watch him anymore.

It doesn't matter if a protagonist doesn't know what he wants at any given time, so long as the majority of the time he takes action to achieve what he thinks he wants. Characters who brood, sulk, sit on the fence, and otherwise let things happen may as well be minor.

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